Here’s a suggestion for a New Year’s resolution: take yourself seriously. If you can, achieve enlightenment. Here’s a complimentary suggestion: don’t take yourself seriously. If you can, achieve Coyote enlightenment. Coyote enlightenment is like walking backwards into a mirror, and then allowing surprise when you turn around and discover the look-a like mocking your every move. Smile, and your reflection smiles with you. Laugh, and you’ll probably stop looking. Make it the not-doing of resolutions. It’s like sneaking up to enlightenment and shaking salt onto its tail.
Now, to help you with your resolution I’ve provided 10 singular suggestions. Choose a method that best suits your predilection, then choose two more methods as backup so that you’ll have a Trinity of Coyote enlightened choices. (Enlightenment is by its very nature is redundant. You know — the one becomes more than one, passing three on the way to infinity. Who knows where this could lead!)
1. Tell coyote stories. Here’s one to get you started:
Did you hear the one about the coyote who was curious and wanted to try out alcoholic beverages? So he walked into a bar where there was an Irishman, a Scotsman, an Englishman, and a whole lot of other nationalities that would take too long to tell. And there were women as well, also of various nationalities. And the coyote walked up to the bar and jumped up from the stool to the counter. But he didn’t know how to order a drink. So he howled, and everyone gave him space. Someone with a cell phone called animal control, and they came out and shot him with a tranquilizer dart and carted him out to the forest and released him. When he woke he realized he had a hangover and swore he would never go into a bar again. And that’s why coyotes don’t drink alcohol to this day, although not having hands would also work against them. At the very least, they would be unable to participate in a toast.
Tell lots of coyote stories, whether people listen or not. Just find an area with foot traffic and ramble on like a drunken preacher. If you do it long enough, and I’m not certain how long that is, you’re certain to achieve coyote enlightenment.
2. Convince a small forest of trees, one that no one will miss, to follow you home. (They have to come of their own accord, and not to become a cord – of wood.) Arrange them into the pattern of enlightenment using a coyote baton.
3. Rather than trees, entice boulders to follow you home. Use a boulder-flute, you know, like the Pied Piper. It’s important not to look back until the boulders are free of their previous ambiance (or is that for leading people out of the Underworld). Arrange them into the pattern of Stonehenge. If you don’t achieve Coyote enlightenment, you might be able to charge admission.
4. Have a peak experience (go on, I dare you), and find a way to freeze time. Having accomplished that, go ahead and thaw out time into a large funnel placed over a bottle. You’ll be bottling time. Be sure to use a cork if you don’t want time to evaporate out of your bottle. This method might work for other states of being worth bottling — such as happiness, ecstasy, fortitude, and the ability to find humor in any situation.
5. Become the god of technology so that you can cause all manner of mechanical and electronic devices to do your bidding with absolute authority. I have no idea how that’s accomplished. If you get stuck, consult your neighborhood coyote.
6. Always keep in mind that meditation is better than sitting around doing nothing. Also keep in mind that coyote meditation involves holding a pencil between you upper lip and nose, then transferring the pencil into your mouth using only your lip and tongue. Howl while you perform this practice. Coyote meditation is better than eating the pencil.
7. Three words: perseverance, perseverance, perseverance. Now, if you realized that perseverance is really only one word repeated three times you’re allowed to advance three spaces and you get another turn.
8. Acquire a superpower and then choose to never use it, even alone in a closet.
9. Go on a strict diet of eggnog until you have achieved Coyote enlightenment. (Disclaimer: consult your Physician or health professional before going on a strict diet of eggnog, as this may not be such a good idea. On the other hand, it’s so crazy it just might work.)
10. Make hay while the sun shines, then spin that hay into gold. And if that gold won’t get it done, then you should just revere the sun. And if the sun becomes too bright, acquire yourself the second sight. And if that sight reveals too much, find yourself the perfect touch. And if that touch can’t find some skin, Coyote will help you to settle in.
Well, there you have it. And you didn’t have to read 10 books and go on a three-month retreat. (Disclaimer: I’m not saying that books and retreats are bad ideas. But I think we might agree that they are much harder than howling at your own reflection.)
Happy New Year! May you find something that you’re looking for, something more significant than the lost remote to you favorite electronic device (although I do realize how disorienting that can be – as does Coyote).
Photo from Facebook page Laugh It Out with Luisa Thwaites